Common Nose Problems in Cats

Cats can have nose problems, like any other animal. Nose problems are often signs of other health issues. Simple medication and treatment by a veterinarian can help eliminate the problem. The symptoms will usually help you figure out what the underlying cause is and how your veterinarian can treat it.

Identification

There are a few common nose problems in cats. To identify a possible nose problem, check the nose for dryness. This is one of the first signs that there is a problem. Common nose problems in cats resemble those of humans, and sometimes dogs. The problem usually isn't severe if caught and treated quickly.

Discharge

Nasal discharge is common with a variety of illnesses. The symptoms include clear, cloudy or bloody discharges. When the discharge is clear, your cat most likely has a cold or an allergy. If the discharge is cloudy, this means bacteria or a virus contamination. If you find blood, this usually means the possibility of tumors, trauma or serious inflammation.

Congestion

This occurs for the same reason as it does in humans--the nasal passage is blocked. Usually the cat will sneeze to clear it out. If the sneezing becomes persistent or the breathing becomes noisy, this will require more serious attention. Usually this will be the result of an allergy, a foreign body or other infections.

Injury

Another common nose problem is injuries. Cats get into fights and have accidents. Male cats are known for this. Injuries to the nose can include scratches, tears or brush burns. Signs include redness, bleeding, cuts, swelling and pawing at the nose.

Growths

This is not as common a nose problem as others, and it is serious. A growth on the nose can result from infection or bacteria. More common in white cats, especially when they are sunburned, is the problem of squamous cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer.

Virus

Virus infections can be a serious nose problem. They can cause cat flu, feline rhinotracheitis or feline calicivirus. All three are contagious to other cats. Symptoms include severe sneezing, nasal discharges from both nostrils, inflammation of the eyes causing discharge, loss of appetite and bleeding.